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Wednesday, April 09, 2008, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

iPhone to interface with PlayStation 3 Blu-ray playback

Blu-ray Disc solutions provider NetBlender is expected to announce this week a software kit for iPhone developers that will allow them to expand upon the Blu-ray playback features of Sony's PS3 gaming console.

Dubbed BD Touch, the technology aims to leverages the network capabilities of Blu-ray players, meaning that iPhones and iPod touches could soon add to their repertoire the ability to dual as a multimedia remote for supporting Blu-ray players like the PS3.

In addition, BD Touch could also serve to funnel movie extras from the PS3 to the iPhone, build an iPhone-based database of a user's movie collection, and beam iTunes Digital Copy versions of movies from Blu-ray discs to the Apple handhelds.

"It's a technology that is built into our professional Blu-Ray authoring tool that will allow studios, independent movie companies to enable BD Touch features," Denny Breitenfeld, the CTO of NetBlender, told Gizmodo. "These features send data in two directions from the Disc to the iPhone and vice versa. Video, Audio, text, and player commands can be sent."

Breitenfeld added that while the idea for remote control functionality has been well received, it should be noted that the BD Touch technology will also allow Blu-ray players to control the iPhone and iPod touch.

"One idea is to automatically pull up IMBD of the movie you are watching right on your iPhone or send the movie information a movie database on your phone," he explained. "The ideas are only limited to what people want and will use."

NetBlender plans on making its SDK available to all of the 100,000+ registered iPhone developers so they can begin work on "applications that easily work with all kinds of [Blu-ray] titles."

A formal announcement is expected on Thursday.